The Battleworld arc continues to feel like a ten-year-old playing with a box of random action figures. That’s not altogether a bad thing.
In Battleworld: Red Skull #2, Magneto and the Red Skull have some Odd Couple-esque bonding time, and Magneto loses his Battle Royale* collar.
Points for a cool cover design. The blood and the barbed wire may hint at future WWII-related tension.
The big revelation of Red Skull #2, to me at least, is that the Red Skull seems to be aware of the pre-Battleworld timeline. That fact might have been established in Red Skull #1. Mind you, I’m not fully up to date on Red Skull #1, or other Battleworld titles, because I see mega-story-arcs like Battleworld as a shameless cash grab. And not the legitimate kind. Magneto may be aware of the pre-Secret Wars timeline too. He seems to have some repressed memories. The issue revolves around whether Magneto will work with the Red Skull, who apparently knows how to destroy the Shield (see Battleworld: Siege for more Shield information). The story begins with the Red Skull saving Magneto from death-by-zombies, then leading the mutant to his makeshift home in a broken Sentinel’s body. The pair eventually teams up with Annihilus in their attempt to smash the Shield.
I’m mostly just disappointed there won’t be an ongoing Bert-and-Ernie style series where Magneto and the Red Skull continue to live in an abandoned Sentinel. The sitcom opportunities are endless: two megalomaniacs under the same genocidal robot roof, one of whom constantly leaves his world domination stuff lying around, and the other who obsessively tidies them up with his mastery of magnetism. It would be like Llamas with Hats in the Marvel Universe:
Red Skull: Erik, where are my henchmen?
Magneto: I ripped them apart, Johann. You left them in the living room. That’s the common area.
Red Skull: MAG-NEEEE-TOOOO
It seems like an oversight that there’s no mention yet that Magneto’s a Jewish Holocaust-survivor, and the Red Skull was, of course, a Nazi. That could be attributable to the mass memory wipe that seems to have taken place at the start of the Secret Wars storyline. Or they could be saving it for sweeps week.
Worth the money? Only if you’re an obsessive fan of either character.
*Alternate nerd joke: his Kaworu Evangelion 33 1/3 (I can [not] remember the title) collar.